Added September 17, 2019
All of us consume some form of digital content daily. We continually learn new things through our smartphones or through other devices that we have access to. We use popular search engines that deliver the information we are searching for within a few seconds of entering a topic. We rely upon easy and quick navigation, so why would patients not have those same expectations to their care managers in the providing patient education materials and services? We should expect the same informative, user friendly experience from healthcare technology in the 21st century.
There is one interesting barrier that exists that directly affects how health systems and practices approach patient information sharing. There are healthcare facilities who want to be open and transparent, willing to share as much information with patients and caregivers as possible for the greater good. Additionally, there are those on the other end of the spectrum who sincerely believe the most reliable and effective method of quality education and information sharing is within an individual setting with a clinician who uses the teach-back method to ensure the patient and care providers are on the same page and understand the information.
In other words, the healthcare systems’ needs relative to the sharing of patient information and education have not been unified or easily accessible, and therefore, it has not been an easy road for healthcare technology providers to create one product or one service to meet client needs, until now.
The greatest health and education risk occurs when the patient is outside of the direct circle of contact with their care providers. While a patient is within in the care of a nurse or primary physician in the office, or in an inpatient setting or at a behavioral health clinic, a patient may ask questions and receive information regarding their conditions. The risk develops when a patient returns home and tries to follow the prescribed treatment protocol themselves and may realize they have forgotten details or need clarification, but they don’t have real time access to that information or support. This is where CareAdopt can help reduce the risk of relapse and improve the patient experience by making education and 24-hour support much more patient friendly and accessible.
When patients can access health information, treatment schedules, medication reminders and support from within their personal device or smartphone- which is then accessible by their care team- patients become more engaged. This integrated, collaborated care approach can potentially reduce symptoms, anxiety and depression relative to the chronic conditions or psychiatric illnesses and provide the patient and provider many opportunities for discussion, reflection and empowerment. Through the enrollment of patients into dynamic digital care plans, they can be supported in the home enabling patients to become fully invested in their own care by forming patient self-management routines. Through CareAdopt, care managers can measure the success of their quality care improvements program. In this way, patients are guided toward the outcomes they want to achieve, and a unified care team can be created while supporting the whole patient remotely.
In today’s technological world, the importance for patient education materials to be digitally interactive, cannot be understated. It makes sense that whether the content is video, audio or digital, it should be engaging and valuable to patients. Online questionnaires, patient task check-ins and video vignettes are all great, but unless they’re interactive, they won’t truly capture the patient’s attention and improve information comprehension or provide true data feedback.
The future of patient education belongs to remote care management designed specifically for the most at-risk patients. It’s power lays within the real time reminders, scheduled check ins, telecommunication counselling and more. These things encourage and support the patients to make the right physical and behavioural changes or choices relative to their overall health outcomes.
Additionally, remote technology care management offers the ability to foresee what it would be like if a patient does not maintain their health in the long run. We can’t depend on our imagination to predict our health 20 or 30 years from now, but through technology, and in the now data accumulated and the endless educational opportunities available digitally, these programs can show us different versions of ourselves in the future based on the kind of health choices we make today. Education is a powerful tool to help people understand why it’s important to make small behavior changes today rather than waiting for further impending chronic conditions that may even cost a life.
Finally, chronic and psychiatric patient education must remain relevant to the patient comprehension in the ever-shifting world of health care. Content that reflects the latest studies or findings that is not beyond their mental capabilities, helps patients feel confident in their role and being a part of the care team encircling their positive health decision-making.
Patients are not just sick people needing our care, they are first and foremost consumers. People are consumers their entire lives hopefully more than they are patients and as such, when walking into a health system what they are looking for is providers, clinicians or a care management team with the same set of expectations they would have within a consumer experience. The consumer experience is evolving to become incredibly individualized and personalized. As we look at the data examples within retail and other companies, this information provides consumer purchase patterns and can suggest appropriate next purchases or services that could be beneficial to the consumer.
This is the exact view that patients expect from the health care system, but the healthcare system has failed high risk patients for too long and now is the time to welcome in change. This is where remote technology care management comes into play because it helps with communication — not only from specialist to clinician across the continuum, but also within the immediate, individual care team setting. It is paramount to know what information, medication and treatment plan has been administered to the patient, and what education they did or did not understand and how the care team, no matter where the patient is in the continuum — can know when and how to reinforce critical information to ensure the patient has the support and knowledge enabling them to stick to their care plan.
Patient education plays an integral part in improving consumer satisfaction, and healthcare quality and patient/provider costs. CareAdopt remote care management technology with integrated patient education, supports the patients to take an active participation in their own health, the program encourages patients understanding and adherence to their care plans and improves efficiency through more informed patient-clinician discussions. CareAdopt is innovative and will enhance organizational healthcare outcomes by facilitating easily accessible, personalized education and treatment for each multimorbidity, chronic and psychiatric patient.